Letter: Dog dispute arrest highlights lack of comparable county rules

From: Julie Robbins


I’d like to respond to a story printed in Sunday’s Republic about the arrest of Nena Cheap for trespassing on private property to check on the condition of a dog, Buddy, there.

Many people have remarked that Buddy is a farm dog and, as such, should be treated as a farm dog. Dogs are, in fact, domestic animals and should be treated as such. It doesn’t matter whether or not the dog is in the city or the county. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, temperature tolerances for dogs are based on several factors and can vary from pet to pet. They are based on their coat, body fat stores, activity level and health.

A lot of attention has been focused on Buddy because he is in plain view of the pubic passing by on a well traveled county road. He is in full view because the owners’ house was torn down leaving him there. When the owner rebuilt a home in a different area of the property he left Buddy there. Before all the attention Buddy had no shade with the exception of a small, un-insulated dog house and a shed on the east side of his small pen which only gave him relief from morning sun. That un-insulated dog house is actually hotter in the summer. Now he has a wooden bench that was placed in his pen for shade and, as I understand it, some type of tarp provided by County Animal Control. I can only assume that’s true because bales of hay have now been placed in front of Buddy’s pen blocking him from view. It also blocks his view and some of his air supply. Buddy is an Australian Shepherd and, as such, needs a lot of exercise. They are a working breed and need a job to thrive. They are very social and love to be with their family, frequently suffering from separation anxiety. They need a lot of stimulation. Buddy isn’t getting any of these things. I’ve been told by the owner that he gets Buddy out sometimes, but not daily and not for an adequate length of time.

If Buddy is loved by his family so much why didn’t they move him to their new house? After all the attention paid to this situation, it would have been much easier to move him than endure the public scrutiny, set up a surveillance camera and use law enforcement to guard the property. Blame for all the attention has been directed at a local Facebook group of animal advocates. This is not necessarily true. Many of the complaints have been from people driving by and seeing Buddy that don’t even know the Facebook group exists. This group was formed to add animal care ordinances to our county ordinances to, at the very least, match the Columbus city animal ordinances. The requests are being denied by the county commissioners. Why should a county dog be treated differently than a city dog?